The Hamad Trauma Center (HTC) of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is advising motorists to take extra care when driving during Ramadan.
Every year, the HTC admits up to 900 patients with severe road traffic injuries and the number of severely injured patients historically rises during Ramadan. However, an increase in public awareness campaigns and traffic law enforcement led to a 40% reduction in the total number of deaths from road traffic injuries during Ramadan in 2014 when compared to the same period in 2013.
Dr Rafael Consunji, Director of the HMC Injury Prevention Program, the community outreach arm of the HTC, said:
Let us build on the momentum from last year’s successful efforts to make roads in Qatar safer for all during the holy month of Ramadan. We advise road users to exercise extra patience and restraint during this Ramadan as people may be rushing to break their fast or more prone to impaired driving because they are distracted, tired or sleepy. They also need to take extra precautions while on the roads in order to avoid preventable crashes that can occur due to overspeeding and the humid and dusty conditions.’
The HTC offers the following advice to road users with the aim of preventing road injuries and deaths during this period:
- Drivers and all passengers must each wear a seatbelt on every trip; this is the only proven way to prevent severe injuries and deaths in motor vehicle crashes.
- Always listen to weather forecasts and general advice about driving conditions on local radio or TV, so you can plan your route and make an earlier trip if necessary.
- Always drive within speed limits and increase the distance between you and the vehicle in front so you can brake safely.
- Avoid distractions such as mobile phones, earphones or the stereo, so you can pay full attention to the road conditions. This goes for both drivers and pedestrians.
- If you are a pedestrian or a cyclist, use the bike lanes, pedestrian crossings and sidewalks constructed especially for you. Walk in the direction facing the traffic flow so you can see oncoming vehicles and they will not suddenly emerge from behind or beside you.
HMC has been the principal public healthcare provider in Qatar for over three decades. It manages manages eight hospitals, incorporating five specialist hospitals and three community hospitals. HMC also manages the National Ambulance Service as well as home and residential care, all accredited by Joint Commission International. HMC is leading the development of the region’s first academic health system and is committed to building a legacy of healthcare expertise in Qatar. HMC collaborates with partners who are key experts in Qatar and beyond, including Weill Cornell Medical College-Qatar, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Partners Healthcare, Boston.